In March 1974, professor Tran Quoc Vuong, a lecturer in the history department of the University of Hanoi (now University of Social Sciences and Humanities), visited the Huong Son relic site and accidentally saw traces showing the presence of primitive humans in the area. Exploring with the local people, Professor Tran Quoc Vuong discovered the site of Sung Sam cave, a relic that is still relatively intact and does not have any architectural works built in the later stage. The Sung Sam site was officially excavated by archaeologists in the early days of the festival season, March 1975.

Sung Sam cave, also known as Giac cave or Ong Bay cave, is located about 4km from Day River and more than 50km northeast of Ha Dong district. The cave is at an altitude of 85m above the level of Thung Vuong valley, the road to the cave is difficult and steep. The cave is 30m deep in the mountain, the widest part is 10m. The arch of the cave is very complex and the highest point is 8.5m. The archaeological culture layer is 0.6-1.5m thick, basically the Cyclophorus mountain shell layer. More than 2,200 relics have been collected, most of them stone tools. Oval tools, grinding pestles, short axes, blade grinding tools, coarse chopping tools and grinding slabs. There are also scraps, pottery shards, many animal bones, teeth with food remnants and some human skull and tooth fragments.

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        Sung Sam cave entrance

The discovery of the archaeological relics of Sung Sam cave is of great significance because it indicates that Huong Son was exploited a long time ago and this land is part of a system of primitive cultural relics hidden in the mountains and forests. Sung Sam cave is a cave belonging to Hoa Binh culture (20,000 years ago) with hundreds of production tools made from carved pebbles, with a cultural layer of mountain snail shells and sea snails several meters thick. Food materials of Prehistoric people were found. Currently, the Hanoi Museum is storing a group of artifacts from Sung Sam cave and will put them on display in theme 2 of permanent display. This display will demonstrate the use of caves as human habitation and at the same time it will show evidence of the period when the sea rose to this mountainous area.

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Grinding pestle

The archaeological site of Sung Sam cave helps us better understand the life of people in the Stone Age and this is also the first time we have discovered traces of people of that era in Hanoi.


                    Phạm Hải Âu